Khalida Jarrar Deprived of Bidding Her Own Daughter Farewell

12/07/2021

By Al-Mayadeen

Israeli occupation forces refuse the appeal to release Palestinian prisoner Khalida Jarrar to attend the funeral of her beloved daughter, Suha, tomorrow, and activists carry out a vigil in front of the “Ofer” military prison demanding her release.

Visual search query image
Khalida Jarrar; one of the most prominent Palestinian political and societal figures

Al Mayadeen reporter said that the Israeli occupation forces refused, on Monday, the request to release prisoner Khalida Jarrar to enable her to attend the funeral of her own daughter, Suha, tomorrow.

Earlier today, tens of activists carried out a vigil in front of “Ofer” Prison, west of Ramallah, demanding the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar, where they shouted slogans demanding her freedom and denouncing the occupation. 

وقفة أمام سجن “عوفر” غرب رام الله للمطالبة بالإفراج عن النائب خالدة جرار لتتمكن من تشييع جثمان ابنتها التي توفيت مساء أمس. pic.twitter.com/OmP0PVfRQr— معتز أبوريدة_غزة 𓂆 🇵🇸 (@Abuabraa2110198) July 12, 2021

A campaign was launched to free the imprisoned Palestinian revolutionary Jarrar, and the invitation to it included, “Instead of surrendering to the idea that the revolutionary leader and former Palestinian legislative council member Khalida Jarrar will be denied the right to bury her daughter Suha…. let us work locally and internationally to exert enough pressure on the administration of the occupation forces prisons to have her released in the nearest time possible so that she can bid her daughter farewell, and thus practice her most fundamental human right.”

Activists on social media launched a massive interactive #freeKhalidaJarrar campaign to form enough pressure on the occupation to release the revolutionary Jarrar, who was arrested two years ago and still has almost two months left for her release. 

في آذار الفائت أجريت مقابلة مع زوج خالدة جرار قال إن ما يؤلمها أكثر من الاعتقال خوفها فقدان والدتها،كما حصل خلال اعتقالها السابق حين توفى والدها ولم تتمكن من وداعه.
اليوم تواجه ما هو أكبر من كل مخاوفها إلا تتمكن من وداع طفلتها الوداع الأخير#الحرية_لخالدة_جرار #freeKhalidaJarrar— Aziza J Nofal (@azizanofal) July 12, 2021

حين توفيت جدتي و عمي خلف القضبان
كان إبلاغه و إيصال الخبر له من أصعب الأمور
وبعد إبلاغه أخبرونا رفاقه بردة فعله التي لا تكفي الكلمات لوصفها ،وبعد جهد كبير تمكن
من أخذ ” تصريح وداع ” ليودعها الوداع الأخير
حيث كانت ترقد في المستشفى ،دون ابلاغنا
جاء مكبلًا بيداه و قدماه

-يتبع— hamzehsalameh (@hamzehsalameh99) July 12, 2021

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine mourned “comrade Suha Jarrar, daughter of imprisoned comrade Khalida Jarrar and revolutionary comrade Ghassan Jarrar,” and launched a local and international campaign to release Khalida Jarrar from the Israeli occupation prisons so that she can attend her daughter’s funeral and bid her farewell.

The Palestinian police announced that they found Suha Jarrar’s body near the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Later on, the Jarrar family announced the death of Suha, indicating that it was of ‘natural’ causes, adding that she was already suffering from diseases.

The family’s statement said that “the initial report” shows that “the cause of death was a severe heart attack, knowing that she was already suffering from some diseases and minor symptoms.”

Khalida Jarrar is one of the most prominent Palestinian political and societal figures. She was renowned for her political, national, and feminist activism and was arrested several times on this basis; the last of which was at the end of 2019.

She is also one of the prominent leaders in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and was elected as a member of the former Palestinian Legislative Council. During her last detention period, Jarrar was subjected to psychological torture and was deprived of family visits under the pretext of COVID-19. Her family was able to visit her only 3 times during the past one year and four months.   

Gaza Fails to Get UNSC Humanitarian Corridors Reserved for al Qaeda in Idlib

 MIRI WOOD 

Israel Jewish terrorist settlers lynch Palestinians in Palestine

Gaza was at the center of the special United Nations Security Council VTC meeting on Sunday, 16 May, to debate the “senseless cycle of bloodshed” [in a vacuum] and other forms of “destruction between Israel, Palestinians in Gaza.” The NATO junta controlling that bastion of peace and security engaged in collective shedding of its infamous crocodile tears, expectedly reaffirmed support for Israel’s ‘right to self defense,’ and made a few sotto voce sounds about humanitarian access. This junta has again shown that its double standards are part of its imperial geopolitical goals, as the klan has never been reserved in its demands for al Qaeda to have such corridors in Idlib.

The arrogant false equivalency of a country with a full army, air force, and navy, and an occupied peoples struggling against what Professor Francis Boyle once described as “slow genocide,” was not unexpected; nor was the mealy-mouthed humanitarian concerns voiced at the UN Forum on the Question of Palestine, two days later.

UNSC held special meeting on false equivalency of Israel and Palestinians.

As is the tendency of the NATO junta to use asymmetrical language to cover obvious bias, virtually all members of the debate team called for an immediate ceasefire, in lieu of the accurate cessation of hostilities.

His Excellency, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres addressed the “open debate” quite somberly, found the both sides “senseless cycle of bloodshed, destruction between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza” “utterly appalling,” and demanded — with somber face –they immediately stop, lest there be a humanitarian crisis and destabilization of the region, and an end to the [non-existent] negotiation for a two-state solution.

Tor Wennesland is the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. He stated that: Unnamed “military operations” (IDF bombing of civilian areas) had caused the “humanitarian and security situation in the densely populated Gaza Strip” to become increasingly dire every day; that 34,000 have been internally displaced; that forty UNRWA supported schools have been turned into shelters for the displaced (who have been bombed out of their homes); that “As a result of the [Israeli] military [bombing] operations, seven factories40 schools, and at least four hospitals sustained complete or partial damage;” that “At least 18 buildings including 4 high rise towers [apartment homes?] including one housing international media outlets, have been destroyed, and over 350 buildings damaged [by Israeli bombings] [emphases added].” As part of the NATO junta, Wennesland dutifully reported that “[a]ccording to the IDF, these buildings contained Hamas military installations.”

He did not mention that forced displacement, including bombing people’s homes, that destroying schools, and that destroying hospitals are war crimes. Wennesland’s blase census of bombed schools, forced displacement, and the obliteration of actual hospitals in Gaza, might be compared to the countless, war criminally lying, anti-Syria NATO klan-led meetings before the Security Council, particularly those involving fake hospitals, unhospitals, staged hospitals where kidnapped Syrian children have been painted by moulage trauma artists, alleged hospitals where the unlicensed Mengele’s brag about performing surgeries without anesthesia.

Truly utterly appalling was SG Gutteres’ ongoing false equivalency as he shed his hypocritical and crocodile tears over the phony “both sides” narrative, utilizing his western supremacy to ignore Israel’s blatant war crimes, and also his acute amnesia over his obsessive demand for various borders to be opened against Syria’s will, in order to ensure humanitarian corridors for al Qaeda in Idlib, a convenient amnesia that caused him to negligently state that such corridors be opened for the suffering, newly homeless, internally displaced, and hospital-less civilians of Gaza.

Only al Qaeda counts, not homeless and hungry and displaced people of Gaza.

Border crossings for al Qaeda in Idlib a frequent demand by Gutteres — via UNSCR 2165 (2014) — who did not mention humanitarian corridors should be opened for people in Gaza.

Utterly appalled, but not enough to demand humanitarian corridors be opened for Gaza, as the SG has many times demanded they be opened for al Qaeda in Idlib.
“Utterly appalling” “[F]ighting must stop.”
Though he did not use the words, SG Guterres appeared ‘utterly appalled’ when he arrived at the impoverished Caribbean island to lecture St. Lucians about cyclical sargassum and climate.
His Excellency SG Guterres has never mentioned being ‘utterly appalled’ that Tony Blair has never been indicted for war crimes.
Appalment likely assuaged when ‘former’ Portuguese colony with Portuguese name, East Timor, separated from Indonesia.
Bat Yam, not Gaza, but Guterres didn't speak of being utterly appalled by the rabid mob
SG Guterres did not voice being utterly appalled by the brutalization by rabid mob of Palestinian man in Bat Yam.

Syria News will also take a short look at other NATO klan members and their various House Servants, but given that the ridiculous collective script that the new round of war crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians, with special focus on death, forced displacement, destruction of schools and hospitals in Gaza, and that — somehow — deadly hostilities magically erupted, from a vacuum, possibly related to an emotion called hate, we shall first share a few videos to demonstrate actual causation.

On 2 May, Eastern Orthodox Palestinian Christians attempting to celebrate Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, were not only turned away by IDF, mishtara, and assorted other Israeli police, but were brutally beaten, knocked to the ground, hit with batons.

Such an immoral and brutal attack — missed by the NATO junta at the UN — was followed by a series of home evictions with phony religious, true psychopaths in blasphemous breach of the mitzvot of Torah seen throwing Palestinians out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah (with the help of Israeli police, in many cases), and bragging about stealing these homes, then followed by Netanyahu unleashing rabid savages to invade more homes, beat and murder the people living there, mobs of psychotics beating a Palestinian man nearly to death — all of which Antonio Gutteres and his gang completely missed.

Then there was the inconsequential incident of the attempt to torch Al Aqsa Mosque, while Israeli men watched and danced and cheered in the nearby Kotel. Israeli media actually claimed that it was a tree that somehow caught fire, and that the degenerates looking in the direction of the flames did so by pure coincidence, as they were actually there honestly celebrating Shavuot.

Let us not omit the following video — that SG Gutteres should have found “utterly appalling,” were he not part of the NATO klan of the UN. It contains the Israeli killer wannabe who sped up his car to run over Palestinians, jumping the concrete Jersey barrier to hit them, and who was then protected by the IDF or militarized police; the zaftig gentleman with the NYC accent who graciously explains to the Palestinian woman why he has the right to have stolen her home; a Palestinian George Floyd dragged from his home; a group of women being battered by the Israeli cops who learned the wrong things from the Nazis (slight paraphrase from a comment in a petition of Jews to the then Mayor of Jerusalem, condemning the massive demolition of Palestinian homes. One signatory commented he was a child of the shoa, then added: “Natzi schmatzi! You learned the wrong thing!”); IDF’ers shooting tear gas, shock grenades, and other deadly projectiles into al Aqsa mosque, filled with worshippers.

Civilized human beings are horrified at the brutality, the home invasions and thefts, the military storming of a house of worship, and the firing of weapons by an armed military inside such a sacred place (who, in his or her right mind would consider sending the military to fire shock grenades and other weapons into St. Peter’s Basilica because of large numbers of worshippers on Christmas Eve?)

Along with the other NATO junta members who have taken over the United Nations, Wennesland ignored all of the above videos of various forms of atrocity, ethnic cleansing, indecency, and prattled on about phony equivalency. He gave perfunctory lip service regarding the deaths of generic “Palestinian families stuck inside their homes,” while bringing us emotionally closer to “a five-year-old Israeli boy in Sderot, and a father and daughter in Lod.” He normalized IDF wounding and murdering of flag-waving demonstrators in Lebanon as somehow a legitimate response to rockets allegedly fired from Lebanon into the sea.

UN NATO klansman normalized atrocities as “clashes,” normalized Israeli military storming a house of worship because of Ramadan.
Spec. UN NATO klansman Wennesland normalized IDF wounding and killing flag wavers in Lebanon.
Not Gaza, nor the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Imagine a military firing weapons into St. Peter’s Basilica because of extra worshippers revering Christmas Eve services.

One after the other, the ruling tripartite aggressors of the P3 ruling junta of the United Nations, feigned concern over Gaza again being bombed to rubble, ignored all of the evidence seen in the above videos, and demonstrated their double-standards which condemn Syria for defending its citizenry, laud Israel’s right to self-defense (which every country inherently and per Geneva Agreement of 1949, has), and inferred that persons living under brutal occupation have the same military ability as the occupier.

In addition to France’s overflowing crocodile tears, French media subsequently made an absurd claim that the US ”vetoed” its draft resolution, kept hidden from all, despite the fact that UNSC resolutions must be submitted to the Security Council, and afforded a vote, before any resolution can be vetoed (this author has no idea what kind of geopolitical shade France may attempt to throw).

None demanded that a humanitarian corridor be opened by Israel, to bring in medical supplies, and foodstuffs to the besieged people of Gaza, though the unsubstantiated claim was made that Israel was ‘forced’ to close such a corridor because of ‘sniper fire.’

The US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield — who practically brought in MGM casts of thousands to lie about fraudulent hospitals in Syria and wail about humanitarian corridors to feed al Qaeda in Idlib, while ignoring America’s criminal sanctions, including the phony Caesar Psyop Act, finally passed by stuffing it into the renewal of the fascist NDAA, in March and in April — showed her concern over bombed hospitals and hungry people in Gaza, via her singular tweet on the UN “debate.”

The UN NATO klansmen “open debate” was followed two days later by the imperialist-named UN Forum on the Question of Palestine, led by former US ambassador to the UN, Rosemary DiCarlo, and the diplomat notorious for “hearing voices” and being caught in outright lies at anti-Syria meetings, Mark Lowcock (those interested in knowing exactly what Lowcock said may follow the hyperlink, below. Those interested in his war propaganda history against Syria can follow the tag in the Syria News search engine.).

DiCarlo has addressed the UN during previous anti-Syria meetings, and has always been forceful in her demands for foreign entities to forcefully open humanitarian corridors for al Qaeda in Idlib, forceful in her support of hospitals that do not exist in terrorist-controlled areas of the SAR, forceful in her demands for the imposition of a new Constitution on Syria. In her imperial address on 18 May, she burped up some useless words such as “regrettably,” “both sides,” “tragic reminder,” “unprecedented,” and barely found the energy to cluck that “humanitarian needs are bound to rise considerably, particularly in Gaza, where the situation was already desperate…”.

Not surprisingly, she did not mention the cause of the desperation, nor did she demand Israel open ”humanitarian corridors,” nor did she demand a constitution (despite the creation of Israel being contingent upon a constitution — among other trivialities — 70 years later, it still does not have one).

Macron’s unsuccessful attempt to censor protesters against the attacks on Gaza , the theft of homes in Sheikh Jarrah, and criminal invasion of al Aqsa.
Thomas-Greenfield tweets undisturbed by Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
Rosemary DeCarlo’s 18 May statement of concern was a bit rote.
Touching symbol of UN hypocrisy

After intentionally failing Gaza, will the UNSC klan dare again to demand humanitarian corridors to al Qaeda, in Idlib?

— Miri Wood

APPENDIX

The tripartite aggressors ruling the UN — France, US, UK, the world’s leaders in war crimes and genocide — along with their House Servants, have a very long history of ignoring the crimes of their welfare queen whose job is to destabilize the Levant, and surrounding areas of the African continent. They have ignored every atrocity perpetrated by their apartheid regime.

Baseem Abu Rahme was a pro two-state Palestinian living in the other open air prison, Bilin. He was at every weekly demonstration against the encroaching apartheid wall. On 17 April 2009, the IDF shot him in the chest with a tear gas cannister used as a projectile, and he died immediately from the physiological shock.

Chava Keller lost all of her family to the Nazi camps. At the age of 14, she spent a night in frigid water, hiding from the Nazis, before making her way to then-Palestine, where she subsequently lost her “Zionist dream.” At the age of 77, the IDF shot her in the arm while she attended a demonstration against the occupation. The photograph taken in June 2006 was outside the Defense Ministry, in Tel Aviv, where hundreds gathered to condemn the massive bombing campaign against the people of Gaza.

Roni Bornat had attended a demonstration in Ramallah, where the IDF shot him in the neck with a live bullet, which made him a permanent quadriplegic. He also attended the weekly Bilin demonstrations, joined by various Israeli activists. In the third photo, Israelis Michaela and Limor Goldstein walk with him to fence ‘protected’ by the IDF and mishtara.

These two Israelis assisted this writer who was protected from physical injury of a shock grenade, by the huge boulder seen in the fifth photograph; assistance was mostly in helping to reorient temporarily scrambled brains from the shock.

Less than two months later, the IDF entered deep into Bilin, threatening both Palestinians and their Israeli supporters, and shooting into the crowd of unarmed demonstrators. The IDF shot Limor in the head with a rubber ball, on 8 August 2006. Video included, here. Michaela is seen pouring water on Limor’s head, and is heard screaming for an ambulance.

The UN klan also ignore various rabbis opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinians, and to the very apartheid wall.

Baseem Abu Rahme was killed when IDF used a tear gas cannister as projectile and fired it into his chest, Friday 17 April 2009, Bilin.
Chava Keller at a hundreds-strong demonstration at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, June 2006.
Israelis joined Palestinians in Bilin against the apartheid wall.
Rani Bornat.
IDF occupiers fire tear gas at unarmed demonstrators. Bilin, June 2006
Israeli apartheid inflicted on Palestinians of Gaza and the ‘West Bank.’

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Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

February 19, 2020

Palestinian prisoner Khalida Jarrar. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Khalida Jarrar

UPDATE: On March 1, 2021, Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar was formally sentenced by the Ofer Military Court to two years in prison and issued a fine of $1,200. She was arrested from her home in Ramallah in October 2019. She was accused of “assuming a position” in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The latter is the second-largest party in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Introduction

Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian feminist, a lawyer, educator and an elected parliamentarian. Over the years, she came to symbolize Palestinian popular resistance in the occupied West Bank, enraging the Israeli occupation authorities that arrested her repeatedly.

Despite her failing health, as she is suffering from multiple ischemic infarctions and hypercholesterolemia, the 57-year-old feminist leader was thrown in jail, and placed in solitary confinement on many occasions.

After her release from prison in February 2019, she was rearrested in October, and is currently held under a precarious Israeli law known as ‘administrative detention’. This law is inconsistent with international law and the most basic requirements of fair trial in democratic countries, as prisoners are incarcerated for prolonged periods, without charge or due process.

Between her release and re-arrest, Jarrar contributed a Foreword to my latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons. Expectedly, her articulated message was that of the strength of character, determination, courage, and hope.

Below are excerpts of Jarrar’s Foreword, where she urges people around the world to “carry and communicate” the stories of Palestinian prisoners so that “someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.”

The Age of Palestinian Freedom Will Come

Prison is not just a place made of high walls, barbed wire and small, suffocating cells with heavy iron doors. It is not just a place that is defined by the clanking sound of metal;  indeed, the screeching or slamming of metal is the most common sound you will hear in prisons, whenever heavy doors are shut, when heavy beds or cupboards are moved, when handcuffs are locked in position or loosened. Even the bosta — the notorious vehicles that transport prisoners from one prison facility to another — are metal beasts, their interior, their exterior, even their doors and built-in shackles.

No, prison is more than all of this. It is also stories of real people, daily suffering and struggles against the prison guards and administration. Prison is a moral position that must be made daily, and can never be put behind you.

Prison is comrades — sisters and brothers who, with time, grow closer to you than your own family. It is common agony, pain, sadness and, despite everything, also joy at times.

In prison, we challenge the abusive prison guard together, with the same will and determination to break him so that he does not break us. This struggle is unending and is manifested in every possible form, from the simple act of refusing our meals, to confining ourselves to our rooms, to the most physically and physiologically strenuous of all efforts -, the open hunger strike. These are but some of the tools which Palestinian prisoners use to fight for, and earn, their very basic rights, and to preserve some of their dignity.

Prison is the art of exploring possibilities; it is a school that trains you to solve daily challenges using the simplest and most creative means, whether it be food preparation, mending old clothes or finding common ground so that we may all endure and survive together.

In prison, we must become aware of time, because if we do not, it will stand still. So, we do everything we can to fight the routine, to take every opportunity to celebrate and to commemorate every important occasion in our lives, personal or collective.

I am honored to be part of this book, sharing my own story and writing this preface.

In this book, you will delve into the lives of men and women, read intimate stories that they have chosen to share with you, stories that may surprise you, anger you and even shock you. But they are crucial stories that must be told, read and retold.

The stories in this book are not written to shock you, but rather to illustrate even a small part of the daily reality endured by thousands of men and women, who are still confined within high walls, barbed wire and metal doors. When you read this book, you will have a frame of reference that will enable you to imagine, now and always, what life in an Israeli prison is like.

And every story, whether included in this book or not, is not a fleeting experience that only concerns the person who has lived it, but an event that shakes to the very core the prisoner, her comrades, her family, and her entire community. Each story represents a creative interpretation of a life lived, despite all the hardship, by a person whose heart beats with the love of her homeland and the longing for her precious freedom.

Each individual narrative is also a defining moment, a conflict between the will of the prison guard and all that he represents, and the will of the prisoners and what they represent as a collective, capable, when united, of overcoming incredible odds.

In actuality, these are not just prison stories. For Palestinians, the prison is a microcosm of the much larger struggle of a people who refuse to be enslaved on their own land, and who are determined to regain their freedom, with the same will and vigor carried by all triumphant, once-colonized nations.

The suffering and the human rights violations experienced by Palestinian prisoners, which run contrary to international and humanitarian law, are only one side of the prison story. The other side can only be truly understood and conveyed by those who have lived these harrowing experiences.

This book will allow you to live part of that experience by briefly touching the inspiring human trajectory of Palestinian men and women who have subsisted through defining moments, with all of their painful details and challenges.

Here, you can imagine what it feels like to lose a loving mother while being confined to a small cell, how to deal with a broken leg, to be left without family visitation for years at a time, to be denied your right to education and to cope with the death of a comrade.

While you will learn of the numerous acts of physical torture, psychological torment, and prolonged isolation, you will also discover the power of the human will, when men and women decide to fight back, to reclaim their natural rights and to embrace their humanity.

indeed, these are the stories of men and women who have collectively decided never to break, no matter how great the pressure and the pain.

I would like to conclude by saluting every female and every male prisoner who is eagerly awaiting the moment of their freedom and the freedom of their people. I salute those whose stories are written in this book and I thank them for allowing us a window into an intimate, painful chapter of their lives.

As for those whose stories were not conveyed here, simply because there are thousands upon thousands of personal narratives left untold, you are always in our hearts and minds.

Dear reader, please play your part, by listening to and conveying the stories of Palestinians, whether of those who are captive in Israeli prisons or those suffocating under Israeli occupation. Carry and communicate their message to the world so that, someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.

Palestinian Prisoner Khalida Jarrar in her own Words: The Age of Freedom Will Come

Palestinian prisoner Khalida Jarrar. (Photo: via Social Media)

February 19, 2020

By Ramzy Baroud

Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian feminist, a lawyer, educator and an elected parliamentarian. Over the years, she came to symbolize Palestinian popular resistance in the occupied West Bank, enraging the Israeli occupation authorities that arrested her repeatedly.

Despite her failing health, as she is suffering from multiple ischemic infarctions and hypercholesterolemia, the 57-year-old feminist leader was thrown in jail, and placed in solitary confinement on many occasions.

After her release from prison in February 2019, she was rearrested in October, and is currently held under a precarious Israeli law known as ‘administrative detention’. This law is inconsistent with international law and the most basic requirements of fair trial in democratic countries, as prisoners are incarcerated for prolonged periods, without charge or due process.

Between her release and re-arrest, Jarrar contributed a Foreword to my latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons. Expectedly, her articulated message was that of the strength of character, determination, courage, and hope.

Below are excerpts of Jarrar’s Foreword, where she urges people around the world to “carry and communicate” the stories of Palestinian prisoners so that “someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.”

The Age of Palestinian Freedom Will Come

By Khalida Jarrar

Prison is not just a place made of high walls, barbed wire and small, suffocating cells with heavy iron doors. It is not just a place that is defined by the clanking sound of metal;  indeed, the screeching or slamming of metal is the most common sound you will hear in prisons, whenever heavy doors are shut, when heavy beds or cupboards are moved, when handcuffs are locked in position or loosened. Even the bosta — the notorious vehicles that transport prisoners from one prison facility to another — are metal beasts, their interior, their exterior, even their doors and built-in shackles.

No, prison is more than all of this. It is also stories of real people, daily suffering and struggles against the prison guards and administration. Prison is a moral position that must be made daily, and can never be put behind you.

Prison is comrades — sisters and brothers who, with time, grow closer to you than your own family. It is common agony, pain, sadness and, despite everything, also joy at times.

In prison, we challenge the abusive prison guard together, with the same will and determination to break him so that he does not break us. This struggle is unending and is manifested in every possible form, from the simple act of refusing our meals, to confining ourselves to our rooms, to the most physically and physiologically strenuous of all efforts -, the open hunger strike. These are but some of the tools which Palestinian prisoners use to fight for, and earn, their very basic rights, and to preserve some of their dignity.

Prison is the art of exploring possibilities; it is a school that trains you to solve daily challenges using the simplest and most creative means, whether it be food preparation, mending old clothes or finding common ground so that we may all endure and survive together.

In prison, we must become aware of time, because if we do not, it will stand still. So, we do everything we can to fight the routine, to take every opportunity to celebrate and to commemorate every important occasion in our lives, personal or collective.

I am honored to be part of this book, sharing my own story and writing this preface.

In this book, you will delve into the lives of men and women, read intimate stories that they have chosen to share with you, stories that may surprise you, anger you and even shock you. But they are crucial stories that must be told, read and retold.

The stories in this book are not written to shock you, but rather to illustrate even a small part of the daily reality endured by thousands of men and women, who are still confined within high walls, barbed wire and metal doors. When you read this book, you will have a frame of reference that will enable you to imagine, now and always, what life in an Israeli prison is like.

And every story, whether included in this book or not, is not a fleeting experience that only concerns the person who has lived it, but an event that shakes to the very core the prisoner, her comrades, her family, and her entire community. Each story represents a creative interpretation of a life lived, despite all the hardship, by a person whose heart beats with the love of her homeland and the longing for her precious freedom.

Each individual narrative is also a defining moment, a conflict between the will of the prison guard and all that he represents, and the will of the prisoners and what they represent as a collective, capable, when united, of overcoming incredible odds.

In actuality, these are not just prison stories. For Palestinians, the prison is a microcosm of the much larger struggle of a people who refuse to be enslaved on their own land, and who are determined to regain their freedom, with the same will and vigor carried by all triumphant, once-colonized nations.

The suffering and the human rights violations experienced by Palestinian prisoners, which run contrary to international and humanitarian law, are only one side of the prison story. The other side can only be truly understood and conveyed by those who have lived these harrowing experiences.

This book will allow you to live part of that experience by briefly touching the inspiring human trajectory of Palestinian men and women who have subsisted through defining moments, with all of their painful details and challenges.

Here, you can imagine what it feels like to lose a loving mother while being confined to a small cell, how to deal with a broken leg, to be left without family visitation for years at a time, to be denied your right to education and to cope with the death of a comrade.

While you will learn of the numerous acts of physical torture, psychological torment, and prolonged isolation, you will also discover the power of the human will, when men and women decide to fight back, to reclaim their natural rights and to embrace their humanity.

indeed, these are the stories of men and women who have collectively decided never to break, no matter how great the pressure and the pain.

I would like to conclude by saluting every female and every male prisoner who is eagerly awaiting the moment of their freedom and the freedom of their people. I salute those whose stories are written in this book and I thank them for allowing us a window into an intimate, painful chapter of their lives.

As for those whose stories were not conveyed here, simply because there are thousands upon thousands of personal narratives left untold, you are always in our hearts and minds.

Dear reader, please play your part, by listening to and conveying the stories of Palestinians, whether of those who are captive in Israeli prisons or those suffocating under Israeli occupation. Carry and communicate their message to the world so that, someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Palestinian Prisoner Khalida Jarrar in her own Words: The Age of Freedom Will Come

Palestinian prisoner Khalida Jarrar. (Photo: via Social Media)

February 19, 2020

By Ramzy Baroud

Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian feminist, a lawyer, educator and an elected parliamentarian. Over the years, she came to symbolize Palestinian popular resistance in the occupied West Bank, enraging the Israeli occupation authorities that arrested her repeatedly.

Despite her failing health, as she is suffering from multiple ischemic infarctions and hypercholesterolemia, the 57-year-old feminist leader was thrown in jail, and placed in solitary confinement on many occasions.

After her release from prison in February 2019, she was rearrested in October, and is currently held under a precarious Israeli law known as ‘administrative detention’. This law is inconsistent with international law and the most basic requirements of fair trial in democratic countries, as prisoners are incarcerated for prolonged periods, without charge or due process.

Between her release and re-arrest, Jarrar contributed a Foreword to my latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons. Expectedly, her articulated message was that of the strength of character, determination, courage, and hope.

Below are excerpts of Jarrar’s Foreword, where she urges people around the world to “carry and communicate” the stories of Palestinian prisoners so that “someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.”

The Age of Palestinian Freedom Will Come

By Khalida Jarrar

Prison is not just a place made of high walls, barbed wire and small, suffocating cells with heavy iron doors. It is not just a place that is defined by the clanking sound of metal;  indeed, the screeching or slamming of metal is the most common sound you will hear in prisons, whenever heavy doors are shut, when heavy beds or cupboards are moved, when handcuffs are locked in position or loosened. Even the bosta — the notorious vehicles that transport prisoners from one prison facility to another — are metal beasts, their interior, their exterior, even their doors and built-in shackles.

No, prison is more than all of this. It is also stories of real people, daily suffering and struggles against the prison guards and administration. Prison is a moral position that must be made daily, and can never be put behind you.

Prison is comrades — sisters and brothers who, with time, grow closer to you than your own family. It is common agony, pain, sadness and, despite everything, also joy at times.

In prison, we challenge the abusive prison guard together, with the same will and determination to break him so that he does not break us. This struggle is unending and is manifested in every possible form, from the simple act of refusing our meals, to confining ourselves to our rooms, to the most physically and physiologically strenuous of all efforts -, the open hunger strike. These are but some of the tools which Palestinian prisoners use to fight for, and earn, their very basic rights, and to preserve some of their dignity.

Prison is the art of exploring possibilities; it is a school that trains you to solve daily challenges using the simplest and most creative means, whether it be food preparation, mending old clothes or finding common ground so that we may all endure and survive together.

In prison, we must become aware of time, because if we do not, it will stand still. So, we do everything we can to fight the routine, to take every opportunity to celebrate and to commemorate every important occasion in our lives, personal or collective.

I am honored to be part of this book, sharing my own story and writing this preface.

In this book, you will delve into the lives of men and women, read intimate stories that they have chosen to share with you, stories that may surprise you, anger you and even shock you. But they are crucial stories that must be told, read and retold.

The stories in this book are not written to shock you, but rather to illustrate even a small part of the daily reality endured by thousands of men and women, who are still confined within high walls, barbed wire and metal doors. When you read this book, you will have a frame of reference that will enable you to imagine, now and always, what life in an Israeli prison is like.

And every story, whether included in this book or not, is not a fleeting experience that only concerns the person who has lived it, but an event that shakes to the very core the prisoner, her comrades, her family, and her entire community. Each story represents a creative interpretation of a life lived, despite all the hardship, by a person whose heart beats with the love of her homeland and the longing for her precious freedom.

Each individual narrative is also a defining moment, a conflict between the will of the prison guard and all that he represents, and the will of the prisoners and what they represent as a collective, capable, when united, of overcoming incredible odds.

In actuality, these are not just prison stories. For Palestinians, the prison is a microcosm of the much larger struggle of a people who refuse to be enslaved on their own land, and who are determined to regain their freedom, with the same will and vigor carried by all triumphant, once-colonized nations.

The suffering and the human rights violations experienced by Palestinian prisoners, which run contrary to international and humanitarian law, are only one side of the prison story. The other side can only be truly understood and conveyed by those who have lived these harrowing experiences.

This book will allow you to live part of that experience by briefly touching the inspiring human trajectory of Palestinian men and women who have subsisted through defining moments, with all of their painful details and challenges.

Here, you can imagine what it feels like to lose a loving mother while being confined to a small cell, how to deal with a broken leg, to be left without family visitation for years at a time, to be denied your right to education and to cope with the death of a comrade.

While you will learn of the numerous acts of physical torture, psychological torment, and prolonged isolation, you will also discover the power of the human will, when men and women decide to fight back, to reclaim their natural rights and to embrace their humanity.

indeed, these are the stories of men and women who have collectively decided never to break, no matter how great the pressure and the pain.

I would like to conclude by saluting every female and every male prisoner who is eagerly awaiting the moment of their freedom and the freedom of their people. I salute those whose stories are written in this book and I thank them for allowing us a window into an intimate, painful chapter of their lives.

As for those whose stories were not conveyed here, simply because there are thousands upon thousands of personal narratives left untold, you are always in our hearts and minds.

Dear reader, please play your part, by listening to and conveying the stories of Palestinians, whether of those who are captive in Israeli prisons or those suffocating under Israeli occupation. Carry and communicate their message to the world so that, someday, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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